Staff Q&A: Roger Anderson, director of Marketing and Communications at NUCATS
Roger Anderson is director of Marketing and Communications at the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS).
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Wisconsin and am a proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools.
What is your educational background?
I have bachelor degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern.
Please tell us about your professional background.
Following my undergraduate degree, I became a copy editor at The Journal Times in Racine, Wisconsin. Working at a newspaper was an amazing experience — from nearly having to spend the night during “Snowmageddon” to designing the front page the night Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party nomination.
Wanting to write full time, I accepted a position at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine eight years ago. I spent the past six years as the publications editor at the Office for Research in Evanston, before recently returning to the Chicago campus to become director of communications for the NUCATS Institute in November.
Why do you enjoy working at Northwestern?
As a science writer I get to talk to world-class investigators, learn how their research may someday change the world and share that knowledge with the Northwestern community and beyond. I am continually amazed by those I work alongside. As prestigious as the faculty are, my peers are what continue to make my time at Northwestern memorable.
How do you help scientists and/or research students at the medical school?
My role, in part, is that of a translator. Scientific publications are a very specific type of content, and working with researchers — postdocs, graduate and medical students, and faculty — to make their work more relatable for the general public is both a challenge and greatly rewarding.
What exciting projects are you working on?
I am thrilled to be the first director of communications at NUCATS and am excited to have redesigned the News Center. I am looking forward to working on the annual report and continuing to build the case for grant renewal.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to take photographs and travel. We’re big proponents of bringing our girls (ages 4 and 1) along for the adventure. In the past two years we’ve been to Austin, DC, Phoenix, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, France, Grand Cayman, and, of course, Wisconsin.
Because of COVID-19, we’ve had to cancel trips to Canada and Iceland. A new hobby has become looking through our extensive collection of travel photo albums (and teaching preschool).
Anything else we should know about you?
We recently adopted a beautiful dog through Greyhounds Only, and have a cat and two turtles.